MEDFORD, Ore-- It's been one month since the Almeda, the South Obenchain and Slater fires sparked in Jackson and Josephine counties on September 8. Fire crews and the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest have put out two of the three fires, but the Slater Fire continues to burns, staying at more than 155,000 acres and 67 percent containment.
"We have just whole neighborhoods that were destroyed in the Talent area," said Sandra Spelliscy, who is the City Manager for Talent, about the destruction of the Almeda Fire. "It was just an other worldly experience and it was like something that you would see in a movie, like the apocalypse."
Hot and dry conditions on that day made it the perfect weather conditions for a fire to start, and the gusty wind conditions made the situation even worse. The Fire initial started on the north part of Ashland and quickly started to move further north into Talent, Phoenix and some parts of northern Medford.
Talent City Officials have confirmed that at least 800 structures were destroyed by the Almeda Fire, with most of the structures being either homes or apartments. With thousands are people left homeless, the city is trying to do everything in its power to help people that are looking for help.
"We know that there are people that are really hurting and we want help them today," said Spelliscy. "But we cant necessarily provide that right now. We are looking to do things in the long term, but its going to take a long time to get there."
The Almeda Fire burned 3,200 acres before being fully contained and claimed the lives of three Oregonians.
The South Obenchain had very similar conditions to the Almeda Fire. The area had been plagued by hot and dry conditions, and once again gust winds made the fire's spread even more sporadic. Fire crews had a difficult time figuring out where the fire would spread to, which made creating containment lines difficult.
Not only did the weather and wind conditions make things difficult for fire crews, but the lack of staff on the initial start of the fire made things even more difficult, with firefighters spread out across Jackson County.
"All of the resources were dispatched to other incidents, so it was just a tough call," said Natalie Weber for the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest. It was just a tough place to be.There were just so many things going on, and you want to help everyone and do everything that you can, but when you are stretched thin like that, it's tough.It was just a rough day for everyone."
The South Obenchain Fire burned 32,671 acres and destroyed almost 90 structres between Shady Cove, Butte Falls and Eagle Point.